Tuesday, January 31, 2012

L.A. COLISEUM "CASH PACKED IN A SUITCASE" SCANDAL: FEDERAL INVESTIGATORS Launch Criminal Investigation into Suitcases Full Of Cash For Union Members [SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL UNION! THEY ARE NOT CRIMINALS DESTROYING THE CITY!]


For at least five years, officials with the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum passed bundles of cash totaling more than $1 million to a union representative, sometimes in a suitcase packed with $100 bills.

The payments, ranging from $1,400 to $187,700 each, were to cover the wages of stagehands on Coliseum events — rave concerts, Cinco de Mayo performances and a Lakers championship celebration — according to records and interviews.

Invoice reports from the publicly owned Coliseum, obtained by The Times under the California Public Records Act, show that the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees received the cash advances from March 2006 through last February. But the Coliseum imposed no controls over whether the money ended up in the right pockets, and the commissioners who govern the property say they may have been swindled.

Now criminal investigators for the U.S. Labor Department are looking into the payments, people familiar with the matter say.

With no detailed accounting of what happened to the cash after it left the stadium, the Coliseum Commission does not know how much actually went to wages and whether required contributions were made to employee benefit plans. In addition, the stadium could be on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars in back payroll and withholding taxes.

It's as though the Coliseum was run "like an underground business," said Jessica Levinson, a Loyola Law School professor who studies government corruption. "This idea of cash in suitcases reads like a bad crime novel."


READ MORE/FULL ARTICLE AT LA TIMES

COMING NEXT: L.A. City Controller to hold press conference announcing new audit while putting officials on notice, "bundles of cash in a suitcase will NOT be tolerated."

Follow by Email